Ten honorees – five men and five horses – will join the 144 people and 89 horses already in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.
The inductees will be honored at the 2013 American Quarter Horse Association Convention in March 2013 in Houston. The men who will be honored are: Bill Brewer of Amarillo, Texas; Kenny Hart of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico; Frank Merrill of Purcell, Oklahoma; the late Guy Ray Rutland of Independence, Kansas; and Greg Whalen of Clements, California.
The horses are: Fillinic, Freckles Playboy, Lady Bug’s Moon, Miss Olene and Poco Tivio.
Induction into the Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors available within the American Quarter Horse community, and it is reserved to those who have made an exceptional contribution to the American Quarter Horse.
Bill Brewer of Amarillo, Texas, was the executive vice president for AQHA from 1992 to 2009. During his tenure as executive vice president, the Association registered its 5 millionth horse and grew to a membership high of more than 350,000. In a career with AQHA that lasted nearly 40 years, Brewer’s legacy was one of improved customer service, efficiency and member benefits.
Kenny Hart of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, was a winning jockey of American Quarter Horse racehorses for 35 years. He rode his first match race in 1962, and in 1977, he became the first jockey to exceed $1 million in annual earnings. In 1985, Hart was the AQHA champion jockey, as well as the leading jockey by money earned and by races won. In 1979, 1981-83 and 1985, he was the leading jockey by races won. Hart now serves as a steward at Ruidoso Downs, where he has been inducted into the track’s hall of fame.
Frank Merrill of Purcell, Oklahoma, co-founded Windward Stud, a stallion station and breeding operation that bred more than 25,000 mares and stood 92 stallions at different times. Merrill joined the American Quarter Horse Association Board of Directors in 1980 and was appointed to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2003. He served as AQHA president in 2007-08. Frank and his wife, Robin, are also known for their ongoing involvement in cutting.
The late Guy Ray Rutland of Independence, Kansas, was a leading breeder of racehorses. The rancher and his wife, Mildred, bred the earners of $1,954,309 in American Quarter Horse racing. Among the horses they bred were Pacific Dan, the 1974 champion racing 3-year-old gelding who set six track records, and his sire, Pacific Bailey, one of the leading sires of racing Register of Merit earners in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1967 and from 1970 to 1977, Rutland was the top breeder of winning racehorses.
Greg Whalen of Clements, California, is a longtime breeder and world champion exhibitor of American Quarter Horses. His first world championship was in 1974 with Opie’s Pride at the first AQHA World Championship Show. Whalen was an AQHA judge for 14 years and began breeding American Quarter Horses in 1962. He and his wife, Mary, have bred foals earning 7,821 halter points and 700.5 performance points in all divisions, with more than $210,000 in AQHA Incentive Fund earnings. Whalen was also known for training amateur and youth competitors to the top, and for mentoring young trainers.
Fillinic was associated with the late Greg Ward of Tulare, California, who rode her to many championships in reined cow horse competition before beginning his family’s breeding program around her. The 1957 chestnut mare was by Arizona Junie and out of Alouette by Master Boss (TB). She produced 10 foals that earned $130,834, including Reminic, her 1978 stallion by Doc’s Remedy, who earned more than $90,000 before becoming a sire of horses that have earned nearly $4 million in reining, cutting and reined cow horse competition. Fillinic was inducted into the National Reined Cow Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
Freckles Playboy was a leading sire of western performances horses. The 1973 sorrel stallion by Jewel’s Leo Bars was out of the Rey Jay mare Gay Jay and was bred by Marion Flynt of Midland, Texas. In 1976, Freckles Playboy was the co-reserve champion at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity, the start of a successful cutting career that would continue until 1980. In the breeding barn for owner Kay Floyd of Stephenville, Texas, Freckles Playboy sired offspring that earned $24.56 million in NCHA competition, $125,696 in National Reining Horse Association competition, $285,596 in National Reined Cow Horse Association competition and $176,970 at the AQHA World Championship Show.
Lady Bug’s Moon is known as a broodmare sire of top racehorses and barrel racing horses. The sorrel stallion was foaled in 1966, the son of Top Moon and out of FL Lady Bug by Sergeant. On the racetrack for owner and breeder Marvin Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma, Lady Bug’s Moon earned $191,536. He sired the earners of more than $4 million, including one world champion, Chicory Moon. He also sired Shawne Bug, a leading sire of barrel racing horses. In the 1982 All American Futurity, Mr Master Bug won and Miss Squaw Hand was second. Both were out of Lady Bug’s Moon daughters. At the time of the stallion’s death in 1995, he was the fifth all-time leading broodmare sire of earners.
Miss Olene, a 1957 bay mare, was the product of American Quarter Horse racing royalty. Her sire, Leo, and her dam, Barbara L by Patriotic (TB), are both members of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Miss Olene became a winning American Quarter Horse runner, with earnings of $31,022 and a record of 11-3-3 in 33 starts. She produced 17 foals that earned $700,673 on the track in the 1960s and 1970s. Her 1972 foal, Little Blue Sheep, was the world champion aged mare twice. Of the 17 foals Miss Olene produced, 15 were starters, and the unraced foals went on to produce black-type performers. She was bred by the late Bruce Green of Purcell, Oklahoma, and was last owned by Herbert Dillon and Myron Palermo of Houston.
Poco Tivio was foaled in 1947 on the famed Waggoner Ranch. Sired by American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Poco Bueno and out of Sheilwin by Pretty Boy, Poco Tivio was a full brother to American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Poco Lena. Poco Tivio began cutting just as the sport was beginning to take off, and in 1952, Poco Tivio headed the first list of AQHA Champions. He was shown in cutting, reining and reined cow horse competition by trainers Milt Bennett, Don Dodge and Charley Araujo before going to the breeding barn and becoming known as a sire of horses that showed as well at halter as they did in cutting, siring 10 AQHA Champions. He was owned by Floyd Boss of Fresno, California.
The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is housed in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo, Texas.
Article courtesy of The American Quarter Horse Journal.